SLOPE Illuminates Milwaukee's Options for Achieving Energy and Equity Goals

Oct. 7, 2021

Milwaukee turned to NREL's State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform to better understand its energy use and clean energy potential.

Filling Critical Data Gaps

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity is charged with "making recommendations on how to address the ongoing climate crisis, ensure Milwaukee meets the obligations set by scientists for necessary greenhouse gas reduction, and mitigate racial and economic inequity through ‘green' jobs." In addition, the City of Milwaukee has goals to source 25% of its municipal energy from renewable sources by 2025, reduce communitywide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% by 2030, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

To address these climate change and economic equity goals, the City and County of Milwaukee used SLOPE to fill data gaps around energy use and clean energy potential. SLOPE integrates and delivers data on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation into an easy-to-access online platform to enable data-driven state and local energy planning. By using SLOPE, city and county planners were able to fill data gaps and answer questions such as:

  • What sectors should Milwaukee focus on to have the biggest impact on reducing costs and emissions?
  • As Milwaukee works to meet its energy and climate goals, how does it ensure that the benefits of a clean energy economy are realized by energy-burdened communities and help mitigate economic inequity? And how can Milwaukee ensure that energy costs are not raised for burdened communities?
  • How much of Milwaukee's energy consumption can be met by locally generated renewable energy?
  • What renewable technologies are most-cost effective in Milwaukee over time?

Electricity Efficiency High Achievable Potential by Sector

Graph showing that high achievable potential of electricity efficiency for residential, commercial, and industrial will increase through 2035 in Wisconsin.
High achievable potential of electricity efficiency for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors in Wisconsin. The bands’ widths represent the span of potential impact of no incentive through a $20 incentive per MWh (SLOPE 2021).

SLOPE also provides links to other energy planning tools, such as the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool, so users can perform deeper analysis. For example, Milwaukee used the LEAD Tool to identify census tracts with the highest average energy burden and target energy retrofit programs or incentives to those areas.

"SLOPE is and will be an important tool for Milwaukee as we move forward in our climate planning efforts. The platform is particularly useful because it provides data in areas we often times operate based off assumptions or estimates. Milwaukee is using SLOPE data to steer program initiatives and efforts, as it can help identify where our programs will have the most impact. Having this data ensures we are making smart and equitable decisions," said Matt Donath, Sustainability Program Coordination, Environmental Collaboration Office, City of Milwaukee.

Jurisdictions, such as the City and County of Milwaukee, can use SLOPE, in combination with other DOE tools, to identify local energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy affordability opportunities in planning energy, climate, and equity goals. SLOPE's integrated data and visualization capabilities allow governments to prioritize and communicate clean energy opportunities to decision makers and the public.

To learn more about Milwaukee's SLOPE story, or to view data for your jurisdiction, visit the SLOPE Platform.

Additional Resources

DOE State and Local Solution Center
Provides resources related to energy data and public sector energy priorities.

DOE State and Local Spotlight
Subscribe to receive monthly updates on the latest resources, news, and funding opportunities for the public sector.

Contact

If you have questions about the SLOPE Platform, please contact slope@nrel.gov.

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